August 2, 2020

An encouraging harvest

Working full time is a fact of life most of us deal with on a daily basis. We're no different here on the manor. I got my first job at age sixteen, and my partner even earlier. His parents rented a farmhouse and, being industrious even at the age of ten, he began doing odd jobs for the farmer. Between us, we have a lot of varied experiences. 

As I edge closer to retirement, my focus is more and more about what do to fill the hours I used to work. Container gardening will be something we do more of each year. We enjoy fresh produce and growing some of our own will be a worthwhile hobby. Preserving some of it will enable us to eat cleaner. 

This year we tried out a set of 5-gallon grow bags made of a heavy fabric that allows the bags to drain well - almost too well. Keeping the dirt moist enough was an issue during the hottest stretch of the summer. But all-in-all, the bags worked well. We're overrun with cucumbers, and the cherry tomatoes are producing at a good pace for fresh eating. The bell peppers were doing great until a young doe got brave and munched the top out of the plants. She didn't get down to the peppers, but she ate off the flowers so those plants are probably done. 

My task for this coming winter is to select a canner for next year and purchase canning jars. Why can instead of freeze? Freezers are dependent on electricity, for one thing. The other is that I feel the freezer is better utilized for meat, baked goods, and prepared meals. 

Growing up in the country, and watching my mother and grandmother preserve the bounty from the garden, has taught and prepared me to do this. I don't see it as work, but a connection to those who went before me. I've worked all my life with this as a goal - to one day, very soon now, to truly become the lady of the manor. 

The Lady of Holly Tree Manor

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